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“Yesterday Mom gave him a hiding... with the whip. Well done! Who asked him to make fun?”

Such speeches are constant on our day-by-day. Children and teenagers used to arrive at the
‘To Be a Kid’ project telling these cases of violence. The most scaring was the naturalness that they
used to talk about and face such situations. The beatings, spankings and aggressions were not seen or
felt as absurd and disrespectful things towards them. They used to have such a lack of self stem that
it was normal to laugh at situations such as to pull a person’s ears, or hit a person with a stick, or
at the beating that the mother had given to her son.
We decided then to change the subject of violence into a “problem” and face it in a systematized
way, involving our children, teenagers and their parents.
The same way that we work with subjects such as solidarity, citizenship, education, creativ-
ity, etc., we have elected the subject “violence against children” as another area of educational and
institutional work.
During a certain period of time our talks at the “ring” and the small groups were about the
children and teenager’s testimonies to the bad treatment at home, at school and on the streets.
We have asked them to write and/or draw, putting on paper everything that they were pass-
ing through at home, school or on the streets. We were scared, first by the quantity of drawings and
statements (those presented attached are only a small part of them); second by the way, sometimes
even funny that the great part of the children developed such activity. From that time on we intensified
our talks about “respect x violence” at the ring and during the meetings with their parents.
Most of their parents used to think that education means to spank and that respect is obtained
with the whip. At the beginning, only a few were touched by the drawings and statements of their
We are into an intervention process of such reality, a state of alert. The results are still small
in front of so many and varied forms of violence used with children, teenagers, adults and those kept
aside of the society but our achievements are a great encouragement. Everyday we become more con-
vinced that such situation can be changed.
We can already observe a significant turn. Some children and teenagers that used to be con-
stantly spanked do not arrive at the Project with the swellings of such aggressions. However, forms
of violence such as the absolute lack of care and friendship, lack of food and chronic starvation, exploi-
tation through work, are still common.
Little by little we are breaking this oppressive structure by seriously and educationally discussing
the matter and taking concrete steps to make an end of these arbitrariness and several - ostensive and
subtle - forms of violence against the children and teenagers who take part in the “Little Seed” and
“To Be a Kid” Projects. We trust that the continuation of such efforts, routinely and educationally,
will cause if not the total reversion of this picture, at least will certainly stop their parents from doing
such indecent practice.
Human respect is not a matter of quality but an obligation and right of all and any citizen,
children, teenager or adult.

Note: If, unfortunately, some of our children die due to the bad treatments and violence of adults, we
do hope that in a near future our efforts prevent us from accounting the following attestation: “cause
of death - violence”

Lucimeire S. Coura Sebastião Rocha

CPCD / Supervisor CPCD / President
"At my place they beat me only by punching my
head, slapping my face and kicking my back and
my kdiney. They don't hit me with sticks or slippers.
Dad beats me for any reason. He only calls me

"Children must be raised like that: with bridle-

hand. Slaps for any reason. If we whistle,
they must comme immediately, if they don't give
respect, they get beatings." Father of P
"Once my moth-
er hit me and
then my father "Once my
started squeez- mother hit
ing my mouth and me...
laid me down on
the floor holding
my mouth so I
could not cry." L-
8 years ond (boy)

...and then
...and laid me
my father
down on the
floor holding
my mouth...
my mouth... I could
not cry."
"Once she (mother) hold her Rider slipper
and beat me a lot and then for punish-
ment she left me in bed." I-9 years old (boy)

"Q", 9 years old, has always been someone who enjoyed to please everybody.
Once in the morning he arrived at the project offering everybody some
cookies that he was carrying. Suddenly his stepfather burst into the place
and began to pull and hit him in front on the other children and adults, saying
that he had stolen his money.
"Mother doesn't choose, hits
After helping him, we denounced the stepfather with a knife, whip, punches,
to the police describing the aggressive and amo- sticks. When she is tired, she
asks other person to help, like
ral way that he used with "Q". The stepfather what she did with my stepfa-
had to stand trial and was condemned fot the ther who lives with her now.
disrespectful and violent act that was submitted Yesterday I was taking care
to his stepson. of the baby. She took a knife,
because he cried during the
soap opera that she likes. She
"Q" represents part of the great number of chil- punched me and threw the
dren that are violently treated, but, unfortuna- knife, and it hit the baby. It
didn't hurt him, he didn't bleed."
tely, the denounce and result obtained are small
Q-9 years old (boy)
percentages of such universe.
"I was with my cousin and there was a man sitting with
some money inside his hat. We showed him a plane and
he looked upwards. We stole his money and ran away. My
mother, at home, when they told her, took a rope and
tied my legs to the tree of mango and said that she would
leave me there for five days. A man heard it and called
the police." G-13 years old (boy)

"It was much better when I was living at my grand-

mother's. She did not hit me. Now my stepfather
doesn' t even let me eat. He strikes me with a piece
of wood. It is much worse to live with my mother. If
I am hit on the street, he hits me more when I come
home." G-13 years old (boy)
"Grand-dad hits but only
sometimes. When he does,
it is with a whip as large
as a finger, a horsewhip...
It hurts... He hits more my
brother, he leaves such
big swellings on him." E-12
years old (boy)

"I get beatings every month. My mother hits

me with anything. She hits me more because
I run away from her." FF-12 years old (girl)
"Me? I get beatings everyday.
Mother hits with a hose. She
leaves it in the sun and then she
washes it, so it becomes more
painful. Dad is even worse, he
beats and leaves signs so eve-
rybody can see. He has already
made me bleed with a belt." T-9
years old (girl)
"Mom said that: 'Take it, take it
quiet, OK? Take more!' She hits
with anything. Once she beat me
with that hammer of meat. She
hit me on my head, made a hole,
it bled a lot. Now, every Sunday,
Dad looks for hurts on our bodies,
if he finds he argues with mom.
There are special days for her to
beat us so he doesn't discover."
O-8 years old (girl)

If "O" was still alive, she would be 9 years old. Same as her life, she died
too violently. The irresponsibility and negligence of her mother led to the
tragic loss of "O" and her two sisters.

They had gone to a small river, condemned for its danger, with their mother
who left them alone to walk around with some friends. When she was told
by her daughter of six that her three daughters had fallen in the river, she
just said that she had not invited anybody to come along with her. Only
after many hours, other people were informed of the problem and went to
look for the children who were already died.

Selling the food of these children (given by their father), spanking them,
not giving any attention or caress were the attitudes of her mother while
"O" was still alive.

Yet we don't know when the rights of children and teenagers will get out of
the paper, but we do hope that one day the Statute of Children and Teenagers
will make sure to provide them with a worthy and better living.
"Dad gives us lots of beatings. He kicks, hits with the buckle,
throw things - chairs, stones, pots... Mom argues with him,
but she hits too. Any gossip of a neighbor or teacher is
enough. The neighbors gossip and we get beatings. When
I entered the project, my hair used to be long, I enjoyed
it very much. Just for fun, my father cut it with a razor, very
badly, leaving some parts very close to the skin. I was
ashamed of myself , now it's growing up again." N-9 years
old (boy)

"Teacher threw the eraser

against the head of a boy, she
made a swelling on him. She pulls
my ears, it seems she is going to
tear them away. Once she did it
to a colleague. His mother came
to school to talk to her." N-9 years
old (boy)

"I punish my son, I beat him, but I don't ac-

cept anybody else to punish him." Mother of
A (girl-of-ten) and N (boy-of-nine)
"Dad? He beats
a lot. Mom even
cries. He beats
until he is tired. We
do nothing to get
beatings , we are
scared. He says
that 'men don't
cry', but what
should we do if
we feel pain?" X-9
years old (boy)

"Dad has always beaten me. I think he

doesn't like me. He uses bad language
and shouts to me for any reason, just
to make Mom angry...
...Now he has left us and it is much bet-
ter. Teacher hits me too, she shoves me
on the desk, hits me with the straight. I
get mad." V-8 years old (girl)
"Everything can be all right, but when my father comes home, my mother
even asks us to go out. When my father receives his payment at his office,
he stops at all the bars to drink. When he gets home, starts hitting me and my
"I get more beatings at school. They pull my ears, push me against the wall,
give me pinches. I don't mind. Dad hits too, with his shoes, it hurts." U-8 years
"I don't like to see anyone being hit. I know it hurts too much. I've already
been badly hit... I almost got blind twice. I have already been hit with a
stick, a hose, a stone. There are mothers who throw what they have on
their hands. Children must be beaten. Even my sister of three years old
gets beatings." A-10 years old (girl)

"Dad beats all of us a lot. He almost kills us. Once he got mom, if it
wasn't for..., he had killed her. He hits with any stick. He got C, and hit
his head with a stick. Other day he broke the stick hitting his back.
When he leaves the jail we will be grown up, then I want to see him
hitting us. We' re just watching him." B-10 years old (boy)
"Once she (mother) got a plastic sword
and stroke my brother until he had swell-
ings on the legs and back." J-7 years old

"Mom? She hits on the face. She

drives me mad..." F-12 years old

"We're hit, you know... When mom cannot beat us anymore, she asks her
boyfriend; than it's even better. Once he hit my brother to tear the belt.
Where I live the boys get really hurt, you Know... Once, the wife was hit by
her husband, then he got a very thick stick and hit her son until he became
blue. People stared, but they didn't separate 'cause they were afraid of
being arrested." D-11 years old (boy)
"Mom and Dad are too nasty... If they say that
something has to be in a way, it must be that
way. They shout and hit too much. Now every-
body is scared. We stay very quiet. That is why
I could hardly talk when I arrived here, I was
always whispering, scared. I know many nice
and bad things, but I'm scared of being hit, so
I hardly talk. Mom gives us such strong slaps,
we fly, she doesn't need any reason to do so."
M-8 years old (boy)

"The policy there at home is really

military." Mother of M (boy of 8 years

"Teacher was angry because of a personal problem,

then she slap my colleague on the face. He became
white, then red and swollen. He said nothing to his
mother." M-8 years old (boy)
"Grand-ma beats me too much. She is nasty and prefers to bea me on
the street... If we shout it is even worse. She beats with a stick, a liana...
We have to remain in silence. She always used to beat my uncles, now
she beats me and they beat me too. There are days that she beats me
only because I go see the kids playing football." R-8 years old (boy)

"Look my daughter, I hit, you don't have

to say anything, I hit anyway. I raise like
that. And I hit just once, but correctly, to
keep them quiet." R's Grandmother (boy of
8 years old)
"Ah! There at home if we do something that they don't
like, they hit us. Now mom has invented to hit us with
a wire. Before she used at least to take out the metal
part of the wire, now she doesn't, sometimes she
only uses this part. When there is no wire, its is with a
piece of wood, she throws knives, buckles, we bleed.
I don't mind. I'm a brat, and it is good to correct me."
S-9 years old (boy)

"Aunt curses a lot, slaps our

faces, gives pinches, pull our
hair. There are boys who laugh
at it." Z-9 years old (girl)
"I don't like being hit. I run away of mom because it hurts. Mother
gives me beatings, sometimes, when I drive her angry, but I don't
run away from my father because then he beats me until I faint
or piss on may clothes. We do nothing to him; it is our mother who
keeps saying things to him so he gets angry..."

"...He beats us with

the rod of rosebush-
es, or guava trees.
He beats until he
brakes the rod. Every
time he beats me, he
hurts. He leaves signs
on me, it bleeds." AA-
13 years old (girl)

"The father of AA beats with ' piraí' (horsewhip) and he is not sym-
pathetic about her. He doesn't stop unless she faints." BB-12 years
old (girl)
"When we are be-
ing hit, we feel
many things, such
as hate, because
it is bad. Nobody
likes beatings." EE-
13 years old (girl)

"I was cursing my mother. She was there on the street, drunk and I was
talking to her like that: 'Mom, drinking is all that you know'. She got me
on the street and beat me with a hose until I reached home. I said I
was going to leave my house, but I was scared. She left big swellings
on me. " BB-12 years old (girl)
"When I was younger, my life was somewhat good. Dad used to go out
with me and my sisters. He used to drink just a little. But later he started
to drink very much. Then he used to treat us and my mother very badly.
He has already threatened us with a knife, a pocket knife. He threat-
ened my mother with a knife. She couldn't say anything to him because
she was scared of being hit. She called the police but they did nothing.
He has already given me several beatings. Then I left home and now I
do it every time. Sometimes I leave home and I don't even know why.
Other times I leave to rest, to get rid of the noise that he does. Then I
feel afraid when I want to come back and I change my mind. When
Mom tried to defend me, she was hit too. She used to ask him to stop
beating because he could kill me." CC-15 years old (boy)
"I don't like beatings, its too bad. It leaves signs for-
ever. My mother hit me one of these days because
I called her by bad language. I climbed a tree and
she waited to get me." DD-11 years old (girl)

"Dad only comes in the weekends and

he punched my head only because I
wore the sneakers that I wanted and
not the ones my mother asked me to
wear." GG-13 years old (boy)